Omaha high/low split, also known as Omaha 8 or better has become one of the most popular poker variations on the planet in the last few years and it’s become incorporated into more and more mixed games. Online poker sites have made it part of their ongoing offerings and a lot of people get very excited at the prospect of playing it because it sounds so simple: you can win for the best or worst hand, so you can win twice as much, right?
Wrong. The first thing you need to learn is that Omaha 8 or Better is a split pot game; meaning the player with the best high hand wins half the pot, and the player with the best (or worst depending on how you want to look at it) low hand wins half the pot.
Your goal in Omaha 8 is to scoop the pot. However, this doesn’t happen all that often, so you must win half the pot (earning a much smaller profit) while you bide your time looking for the big scoop. In fact, if you’re used to Texas Hold ’em, one of the biggest adjustments that you need to get ready for is the fact that Omaha 8 pots tend to be multi-way all the way to the river.
The math works as thus: if you’re going heads up, you will basically get your money back from a split pot (minus the rake, of course.) If you end up in a three-way pot, you will win a couple bets and end up losing money overall. On the other hand, if you end up scooping a three-way pot, you’ll win a lot; and when you win that four or five-way, capped on every streets pot, you’ll double your stack, which sounds pretty terrific to us.
That does all this mean? Well, with each player choosing from 9 cards, and with a high and low hand possible at any given times, the majority of new Omaha 8 players will play virtually any 4 card starting hand, and most hands will go to showdown with multiple people vying for the pot. Omaha 8 is the ultimate action game, which means that a strategic player can clean up.
Do you have what it takes to be King of the Felt?
Unlike Texas Hold’ Em, Omaha 8 doesn’t punish a bad player as openly. Often enough, there loose play and post-flop chasing will net them half the pot. So, these players lose money slowly; often so slow they don’t realize it until the end of the night! This is why bad players rarely wise up to their mistakes in Omaha 8. Day in and day out, you’ll see the same players sitting at an Omaha 8 table making the same mistakes over and over.